(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 11/18/2021) – The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today called on Governor Stitt to grant clemency to Julius Jones, who is scheduled to be executed today at 4 p.m.

SEE: Julius Jones is scheduled to be executed today and Oklahoma’s governor has still not decided if he will commute the death sentence

[NOTE: CAIR has repeatedly called for a moratorium on the death penalty nationwide “due to flaws in the system that lead to false convictions, as well as a disproportionate impact on defendants who lack access to proper legal representation, particularly people of color.”]

In a statement, CAIR-OK said:

  • Julius Jones has been on death row in Oklahoma for 19 years for a 1999 murder he’s always said he had no part in. Mr. Jones, represented by federal attorneys Dale Baich and Amanda Bass, was convicted and sentenced to death at the age of 19 and has now spent half his life in prison, waiting to be executed for a crime that new and compelling evidence suggests he didn’t commit.
  • Julius Jones was at home having dinner with his parents and sister at the time of the murder; however, his legal team failed to present his alibi at his original trial. His trial attorneys did not call Mr. Jones or his family members to the stand.
  • Mr. Jones did not match the person’s description of who committed the crime, which a sole eyewitness provided. The person who killed Mr. Howell was described as having 1-2 inches of hair, but Mr. Jones had a shaved head.
  • Christopher Jordan matched the eyewitness’s hair description but claimed only to have been the “getaway driver” and not the shooter at trial. He was the state’s star witness against Mr. Jones.
  • In exchange for testifying that Mr. Jones was the shooter, Mr. Jordan was given a plea deal for his alleged role as the “getaway driver.” He served 15 years in prison and, today, he is free.
  • Three people incarcerated with Mr. Jordan at different times have said in sworn affidavits that Mr. Jordan told each of them that he committed the murder and framed Mr. Jones. None of these three men have met Mr. Jones, and they do not know one another. And none of them have been offered a shorter sentence or incentive in exchange for disclosing Mr. Jordan’s confessions.
  • More than 7 million people, and counting, have signed a petition supporting Mr. Jones in his fight to prove his innocence in the killing of Paul Howell, a businessperson, in Edmond, Okla.
  • 60% of Oklahomans believe that Julius Jones should go free.

He is one of seven people facing execution in Oklahoma in the next six months. If carried out, they will be among the first executions in Oklahoma since 2015, after a series of botched executions resulted in a statewide moratorium.

The Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 to grant clemency and commute Julius’ sentence to life with the possibility of parole. The same board also recommended commuting his sentence in September. It’s now up to Governor Stitt to take the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation.

The Death penalty is a flawed system. How many times must we send someone to death with a reasonable doubt of innocence? Oklahoma had a series of botched executions resulting in torture, leading to a six-year moratorium on executions for the state. Nothing has changed. Yet, Oklahoma is picking up where it left off and is scheduled to kill seven people over the next six months.

*Data and facts from Justice For Julius Jones and The Innocence Project

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877, vlaizure@cair.com; CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, asoltani@cair.com